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Lack of Consultation: State Government's Decision On Glenden Under Fire

The State Government’s decision to pass legislation forcing mining company QCoal to accommodate its employees in the Central Queensland town of Glenden from 2025 onwards was made without consulting the people most affected, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the government had pushed through the legislation without any real consultation or consideration of the consequences for the 400 QCoal employees who currently work at Byerwen mine.

“QCoal has complied with all regulatory requirements required by the government, only to see the rules changed after the event without any consultation,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Now the company is facing a workforce walk-out at a time when it’s already hard enough to attract enough skilled workers to the resources sector.

“The State Government should have properly consulted all parties to find a solution that doesn’t have such a deep personal impact on the lives of mine workers and their families.

“It’s understandable that employees have serious concerns about being forced to live in sub-standard homes with sub-standard community services in Glenden when they already have suitable on-site accommodation available. It’s difficult to imagine the Government doing this to any other industry.

“The resources sector supports 90 per cent of jobs in the Isaac region and is the biggest contributor to the local economy.

“If Byerwen mine’s ability to operate to its full potential in the future is impacted by this decision and flow-on staff shortages, the economic consequences will be felt by businesses right across the region’s supply chain.”

A statement from QCoal said it believed the company is being unfairly targeted in a politically motivated campaign of misinformation to disrupt the approval process for its proposed mining accommodation.

“QCoal workers have the right to choose where they live and their safety is paramount.

“QCoal cannot legally dictate to its workers where they live or demand that they move their families to Glenden,” the statement issued by Managing Director, Christopher Wallin, said.

“Glenden requires 2000 rateable homes to be sustainable. Even if all 600 of Byerwen’s workers moved to Glenden this would not be enough to make the town sustainable.

QCoal is of the firm belief that being forced to accommodate its non-resident workers in Glenden during their working week will only put them at increased risk of travelling nearly 100 kilometres a day to and from work.

“It will also unnecessarily and unfairly take up a further two hours per day with travel and the time necessary to muster workers onto bus transport.

“QCoal does not believe this is reasonable and neither does its workforce.”

Source: Mackay and Whitsunday Life


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